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Why Ultrabooks Are Enforced Common Sense

January 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

 

The Ultrabook is an Intel intervention for the wayward PC industry… and crucially, it might just work.

 

Why Ultrabooks Are Enforced Common Sense

2012 is predicted to be the year of the tablet, but if aliens had landed at CES this week they would have their attentions drawn by another product entirely: the Ultrabook. In the show’s first 24 hours Acer launched the Aspire S5, HP the Envy Spectre, Lenovo the T430u, LG the Z330 and Z430, Samsung the Series 5 and Dell the XPS 13.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Intel PC client chief Mooly Eden used the company’s press conference to proclaim “75-plus” Ultrabooks will be released in 2012, 50 per cent of which will have 14- and 15in displays. Have Ultrabooks taken over the PC industry? No, enforced common sense has.

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If the last few years have proved anything, it is that the majority of PC makers had no idea what they were doing. Like kamikaze pilots they have savaged their own business models: eroding profit margins, cutting corners and casting aside creativity to produce generic machines only differentiated by their company logo. This trend reached its nadir with netbooks. These once lean, flash memory-based devices with Linux operating systems were ruined in a spiral of self destructive greed.

In the very definition of quantity over quality, PC makers swamped netbooks with Windows, plugged in cheap hard drives and stuck rigidly to underpowered specifications dictated to them by Microsoft. Why? In exchange for a few dollars off a licence fee for the aged XP operating system in the hope bargain-basement pricing would ensnare the mass market. It did, but so poor was the experience, so mis-sold was it in a desperate attempt to shift units, that PC makers all but killed any chance of repeat business – and in doing so laid the foundations for disgruntled punters to jump ship to the iPad.

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